RS Models 1/72 Arado Ar 76

By Matt Bittner

Introduction

Taken from the instruction sheet:

"Among the earliest specifications drawn up by the C-Amt of Goring's Lufthafrtkommissariat" was on calling for a lightweight single-seater for use emergency Heimatschutzjager". The first prototype, the Ar 76a D-ISEN was completed late in 1934, this being followed in the spring of 1935 by a second prototype, the Ar 76a (D-IRAS). The general characteristics of the Ar 76 were adjudge excellent, but in the final evaluation of the designs, the Arado was placed second to the Fw 56. Nevertheless, a small production series of aircraft was ordered as a back-up for the Fw 56 program, and these delivered to the Luftwaffe in the spring of 1936, were used by the Jagdfliegerschulen FFS A/B 1, FFS A/B 8, FFS A/B 23 a LKS Kaufbeuern, FFS A/B 32 Chrudim."

The Kit

The RS kit of the Ar 76 consists of 24 injected pieces, two injected clear windscreens (maybe the second being an extra "just in case") and a nice fret of colored photoetch from Eduard (consisting of 20 pieces of metal). Pieces are very nicely cast and I can't see any flaws - pin markings, etc.

Decals are in-register and nicely done. There are three schemes catered for: Arado 76 FFS A/B 5 Seerapen 1939 (overall RLM 02 with a blue upper fuselage); Arado 76 FFS A/B 23 Kaufbeuren 1940 (RLM 02 with a yellow stripe on the fuselage and yellow wing tips); and Arado 76 I.JG 232 Bernburg 1936, D-IZVA (RLM 02 with a blue upper fuselage).

Construction by first building the cockpit floor and pieces, the nose and propellor and wheels to the spats/landing gear. When I put this together, I will only complete the first step, the cockpit pieces, prior to painting. The rest will wait until painting is finished. In fact, you could paint the wing prior to doing anything else so you can be sure it's painted before final assembly.

Now the cockpit is put into the fuselage, the fuselage halves closed and the horizontal tail added. The instructions also have you glue the center struts on but I would have to check alignment first to be sure things will line up at the end of the build.

The only thing I would add prior to painting would be the landing gear, just in case there's a fit issue and seam work needs to be accomplished. That way you can get all that out of the way prior to painting. After painting the wing can be added along with the last of the struts for it and the tail. Finally the windscreen is added last.

Conclusion

This is an awesome model. I think it will look great sitting side-by-side next to the Heller Fw 56. If you enjoy 'tweeners in general, and Luftwaffe 'tweeners specifically, then these are kits you must track down.

Huge thanks to RS Models for providing the review kits.

Roll Models

Sandle Hobbies

Profile Art EN Banyai-Riepl Illustrations